October is literally just around the corner, and with it comes the moment of truth for Malta; waiting for MONEYVAL's decision on whether to place the country on its Greylist, for a total and complete lack of effective law enforcement actions against money laundering. Let us humbly suggest the most direct signal that Malta can send that it intends to reform is the immediate indictment of Pilatus Bank owner and Chairman Ali Sadr Hasheminejad. It will also help if the bank's ex-CEO and a number of the directors are also named, all for their primary roles in facilitating the banks' money laundering operations.
Of course, the hint supplied recently by the senior law enforcement official, to the effect that certain unspecified criminal charges were going to filed within the next thirty days, against yet unnamed individuals, most lilely served as a warning to former Pilatus officials to leave town before then, which will allow Malta to bring charges, and not be able to hold a trial, due to their timely flight to avoid prosecution. That might save the hides of those active duty government officials who could be named & shamed, if the defendants were unable to be located and arrested.
Of course, regarding Ali Sadr himself, the ringleader, he is safely ensconsed in the United States, where he is an established Cooperating Individual, and therefore not likely to be extradited any time soon. Malta thus can prove its intentions to fight money laundering, without actually trying the offenders in court, as they are cleverly not available at this time.
So what do you say, Mr. Prime Minister, will you bring charges against Ali Sadr, and his henchmen, for money laundering, or will you ignore your duties, and suffer the MONEYVAL censure ?